Sex, Sin, and Blasphemy

Three of my favorite words. As an ex-Catholic-schoolgirl, I delight in everything forbidden. Admittedly, I picked this book off of the shelf this morning because the title made me snicker. But this book is so much more than a taboo title to giggle at- it’s an in-depth look into the ongoing battle between artists/writers/musicians/etc and our collective archenemy: those conservative business-types on Capital Hill who think they have the right to censor us “for the greater good.”

So, if you’ve ever wondered why you can’t make, say, or do whatever the bleep you want even though we live in a purportedly free country, this is the book for you.

Z

658

.U5

H43

1993

Check it out!

Mary J Wilson

 

 

 

Diane Arbus

Today’s featured find is a vintage photography publication, showcasing the work of Diane Arbus. The magazine itself is appealingly large (you’ll find it in our oversized collection), and affords each photograph ample page space. The only accompanying text to these vignettes of the 60’s is the year they were shot, allowing the images to speak for themselves. My favorite is a two-page center-fold style photo of a tattooed man laying in the grass with a lit cigarette held firmly between his fingers, gazing intensely at the camera.

Every photo has a sense of quiet moodiness to it- a sort of everyday surrealism. In another photo, a muscular man in weightlifting shorts wears a champion medal and stands by a large trophy, wearing an unreadable expression on his face in a spare room. Looking at these photos, the mind wanders through the curious scenes depicted and invents stories about the people and places therein. Strange and beautiful, this is definitely a magazine to get lost in.

Oversize

TR

647

.A72

P5

1980

Check it out!

Mary J Wilson

Bakelite Style

 

 

Looking for illustration inspiration? Bakelite Style contains page after page of beautiful Deco-era whatnots all made from the original plastic, developed by Belgian chemist Leo Hendrick Baekeland in 1907.

Everything in this book is completely charming, from the white-and-seafoam-green-flecked toast holder to the three-foot-tall champagne bottle radio. Just imagine the person who owned that radio. You could design a room around a thing like that. In any case, I bet whoever it was threw spectacular parties.

Flipping through these pages makes me want to invent a time machine to return to an era with better style than ours and never come back. But since I haven’t yet finished drawing up the plans for such a machine, for now the best I can do is let my imagination sink into the sumptuous Deco curves and concoct houses and people to go along with all of these beguiling Bakelite oddities. And really, that’s not so bad either.

TP

1180

.B3

1997

 

Check it out!

Mary J. Wilson